At age 17 I found myself sitting in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit, or other wise known as the NICU, holding a beautiful two pound four ounce baby boy named Dylan. His petite body was so covered with numerous complex tubes it was hard to see any extremities of his body. As I sat there rocking Dylan back and forth in the old wooden rocking chair trying to keep the blanket from smothering his ridiculously small and fragile body, the feeling of sadness and anger came about me.
Dylan was a product of a mother and father that didn’t want or love him. He was a mistake in their eyes. Both parents were drug users causing Dylan to become a premature infant. Dylan had been in the NICU for forty-six days on this specific life changing day for me. His parents had only seen their gorgeous baby boy once; when they were checking out of the hospital and said goodbye, leaving a false sense of hope that they would come back.
Within minutes of holding Dylan, I had feelings of happiness come over me, and a sense of peace in my heart and mind. It brought tears to my eyes. I was feeling all of the pure love and joy that was within this little neglected boy. Even with all the tubes covering him, I felt his warm embrace melt into me as he tried to snuggle deeper into my chest for the humanly warmth that he should have been given from his own mother and father. The peace that calmed me most was the peace of knowledge knowing that no matter what happened to Dylan, he was going to have success in his life. He was going to have true happiness in every aspect of his life, the same happiness that we are all entitled to in our own lives.
As I looked down at Dylan, with tears in my eyes, trying not to spill them onto him, I realized that I didn’t see Dylan anymore. I saw wrapped up in my arms, holding so tight yet so gently, Ben; my nephew that had passed away just a few months earlier, the nephew of mine that I never had the chance to hold deep in my arms. I thought that I had missed out on my opportunity to feel of Ben’s pure love and warmth. I knew at that moment, the time I was honored to have shared with Dylan, was in fact my second chance to have the time I had longed to have with my nephew Ben. I will always be grateful for my second chance in life to feel complete if only for a moment.
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